Wanna Get The Most Out Of It?

“This, alas, is fairly typical of the engineering mindset, which would rather spend £1,000 on technology than spend £1 on telling people how to use it.”

“This”, to which Rory Sutherland refers, is a King Canute obstinacy that can be expanded to cover just about any business exec spending money on tech.

Anyone (like me) who has battled to gain the requisite respect and commensurate order for training in said hardware or software will know this afflicts even the most supposedly visionary of management.

Buyers simply prefer to make do on their own.

They often have their own techies. Surely they can help if need be. No problem. No cost.

If what is sold is so complicated that it needs training then maybe it ought be not bought at all.

A month on no-one remembers their training anyway.


So misguided.

I’ve often thought there’s a problem with the very label ‘training’.

Synonyms must exist. And better than such jargon-speak as ‘quarterly process match audit’.

In the old days, corporate software would come with a mandated annual maintenance charge. Usually a small(ish) percentage of the package price paid. Which enabled for a certain amount of upgrade releases to follow free-of-charge, a telephone helpline and access to a user group.

Even then, training was on top. Many users baulked at forking out.

Which reminds me of the classic, disparaging quip;

Only two industries call their customers “users”.
Drug dealers and computer software vendors.
There’s a reason for that…

Which may in part explain reluctance to provide ever more income for such sector.

Anyway, no-one would buy a machine without a maintenance contract. Commercial collapse could result from any downtime of a prime piece of kit deciding to stop running.

And who ignores the service interval stipulations of their car?

We’ve all had experiences akin to picking up said motor to find the seat in a strange configuration. Only to be ‘taught’ a new trick with your seating that somehow eradicates that nagging lumber pain on long drives.

The skills training sector suffer this immensely.

Yes, in part that is due to their apparent typical inhabitant.

Ranging from chancer to clapped out nearly-operator to having pretty much zero skin in long term client game.

I have heard myself the strains of Sales ‘coaches’ implore that training can surely be ignored no more.

You must at least check the salesteam’s oil, tyres and brakes.

The (thank goodness) march of OpEx replacing CapEx for monthly rentals over outright big-hit purchase should help the trainer.

Those familiar with the pricing tables of consumer aimed apps will know the triple (or more) bands such as small scale try-out, more meaty expansion and go-wild pro.

The trouble with these, is where’s the ‘training’ that getting better with the wares, using it to its maximum, leads to?

No-one likes training.

For vendors there’s no regular annuity income. For purchasers there’s perceived huge wastage in time and money.

Best we muddle on.

But let’s not.

Let’s try to buck the trend.

Seldom does five minutes in the presence of someone who knows about something intimately ever get regretted.

Talking of seating earlier on, I now remember the time replacement office chairs arrived at my office. The delivery guy happened that day to be filling in. His normal job; manufacturing said chairs.

In those few moments he made such a difference to everyone, he snared his firm a customer for life.

All because he happened to be chatty and asked how we liked our settings.

Little did we know that even a humble swivel chair on wheels could have so many.

Which was for all of us, at least one more than we had known about and changed our posture for the better.

People tend to recoil from the vendor query, “you getting what you want out of this?”

Yet framed right, it is an opener with an awful lot of power.

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